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Countries look to Commonwealth at global climate conference

17 November 2016

Governments and partners at global climate talks in Morocco say they are encouraged by action taken by the Commonwealth to support small and vulnerable countries.

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland met with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Bahamas’ Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, and Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, after arriving at the COP22 conference in Marrakesch yesterday.

Prime Minister Skerrit expressed his gratitude to the Commonwealth for efforts to support small states through the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub. Dominica is one of 14 countries to have requested support from the hub, which will help countries unlock climate mitigation and adaption funding streams.

Foreign Minister Mitchell said his government is also grateful to the Commonwealth Secretariat for supporting The Bahamas through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC), from which he hopes to gain assistance to implement last year’s Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Minister said he hoped that all member states will continue to make a contribution to this “vital” fund and the “outstanding work it has accomplished for small and vulnerable states like The Bahamas”. Through the fund, The Bahamas has in recent years received legal assistance to negotiate its maritime boundaries, public debt management support, and judicial training.

On her first day of bilateral meetings, the Secretary-General was also greeted by Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, and met environmental campaigner Albert Bates.


Later on Wednesday, the Secretary-General met with Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and discussed the Commonwealth’s focus on connecting countries to climate finance as well as innovative solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Over the coming days, the Secretary-General will have bilaterals with government leaders and ministers, heads of agencies and environmental campaigners from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific. 

Notes to Editors:

More information on the Commonwealth's climate action work 

Learn more about the Commonwealth's engagement at COP22

For interview requests, please contact Will Henley at [email protected]